Here's my penultimate draft!
Click, clack. Click, clack. That’s how the day always begins here. The Watchers never
fail to come clicking and clacking through the rows of beds. Even though it displeases
them, I always twist and turn to see the sun rising through the grimy window. I can just
see its rays dappling the ground through the dirt. The chains hurt. I’m always wondering
why they are all so terrified of children. You know they are, don’t you? Good. Did you
know, we have to be subjected to a daily psychological inspection here, just to make sure
we don’t do anything ‘upsetting’? It’s quite fun to play with the white
coated-Watchers’ heads. I don’t tell them about the monsters that have taken to
keeping me company, instead just about dreams of freedom and grass. They think I’m the
most troublesome one. I can tell, because of the way they are always glancing at me and
whispering. I believe the Watchers are about as clean as us, which as you know, isn’t
clean at all! Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a mere sliver of soap! The other day, I woke
up with a fly resting on my nose. I almost screamed until I remembered that making noise
makes the Watchers come, so I tried my hardest to writhe until it got bothered and flew
away. It worked. These chains truly are a pain. They cripple me. Do you remember the old
comic book we found in the trash bin, all burned up? “Sup-an?” These chains are my
kryptonite. And look, there! Have I told you about the creatures yet? I’m sure I have.
They bother me so! Anyways, one of them is gnawing on the chains, but it’s only getting
I could hardly believe my ears when they let us write letters today. I’m writing all
this down as fast as I can. It’s hard enough to cram month’s worth of chat into thirty
minutes and even harder when a Watcher is breathing his foul air down your neck. Yes, you,
Watcher. Ha! He’s walking quickly away now. Do you think it’s possible he’s
embarrassed? Do they feel? Are they born? Are they even like us? What are we? The Watchers
started us in classed this week. I’m in ‘Love and Appreciation for the Great One.’
The instructor is mean. He said that children need not ask questions that are not answered
by the Great One. You know, if I was him, I would change my name from the Great One to
something more... what’s the word? Fantastical. Something awe-inspiring. But now we must
be going to classes. I will continue this letter at a later time.
Today, at lunch, I sat at a table full of creatures with wounds. They all worse the Great
One’s badge and watched me as I forked my meal into my mouth. I really do miss you. At
least if you were there, half of them would have been looking at you. None of the others
boys seemed to see them, although I don’t understand how they didn’t. Oh, how I wish I
was as unobservant as they are.
I’m a terrible child. I am disobedient, disrespectful, and unworthy of the Great
One’s love, but he gives it to me anyways, for he is loving and kind. That’s what we
wrote today, in ‘Love and Appreciation.’ We had a different teacher today, a girl. She
was scarcely older than us! But she seemed so unlike us. She had the same haircut as the
Watchers, and basically the same uniform, only with a brown skirt instead of pants. Am I
boring you? I’m only trying to make this letter seem like a conversation. I’m sorry it
I ramble. I just miss you, that’s all. I wish they had not taken you away. Where’d you
go? You’ve been gone for almost a year now. I was so excited last time I got to write
you a letter, but then you never replied! Why? Oh, thinking about this reminds me of the
day you went away. It was after lunch, I remember. We were just being chained back into
our bunks for the reading of the Great One’s book, when some new Watchers came in. You
were scared. They dragged you away. We could all hear you screaming, but suddenly it
stopped. That must have been when they closed those thick doors. I also remember something
you didn’t see. The lady Watcher, the one who wasn’t as strict, her face started to
turn splotchy, like the rising sun on the floor, and she was escorted out of the room.
Come to think of it, we never saw her again. Oh! Is she with you? I bet she is. And that
little red-haired boy, he was taken away just last week. Is he there too? I like to
imagine you’re free, but I bet you’re just in another facility. I like to remember
things. It makes the dark of night not so bad. Speaking of which, I will once again have
to depart from my writing. The Watcher is switching of the lights slowly, menacingly. Ugh.
His face is covered in dark patches and his hair is greasy. Good-night.
They installed an Incinerator in the hallway. It’s supposed to have some new,
electric-pyro technology. It’s all the same, though. The Watchers are going crazy,
throwing all sorts of things down the chutes. Un-salvageable clothes, leftover food, even
their spare uniforms. Some of the boys thought it was an interesting concept, a machine
bent solely on destruction, but I could see how common it really is. Take the Watchers,
for instance. Even trash bins. I just sat in my bed and listened to their delighted
screams as clumps of hair were charred for no reason with my eyes closed.
It’s later in the day now, right before bed. Remember what I was talking about in my
last entry? Well, when I finally opened my eyes after the noise had gone away, there was a
giant silver cat on my sheet. When it turned around, its eyes looked like the Great
One’s pins. It disappeared as suddenly as it had come. The Watcher standing just across
the room didn’t even acknowledge it! They are so ignorant.
It’s yet another day, but this day is different. I’ve been taken to a new room. I’m
alone right now, but I don’t think that will stay constant. There’re dark slashes of
some color on the walls, but I can’t make out what they are because the lights are so
dim. Uh oh, here comes a Watcher. His boots clack on the floor. Click, clack. Click,
Clack. I’m afraid.
I’m in yet another room, only here there’s another boy. I kept trying to make him
talk, but he wouldn’t. Oh, it was horrible! When they gave us our rations, I saw inside
his mouth. He had only a stub for a tongue. It gives me shivers just recalling it. The
Watchers here wear pristine white uniforms and gun holsters slung about their hips.
There’s another lady Watcher here. She doesn’t wear a uniform though, just a navy blue
dress with the Great One’s emblem on the pin. Here she comes now, in fact! I must hurry
to hide the paper and finish this yet another time.
This is not good. I know I shouldn’t have been here this long now. None of the boys who
were here when you were are gone now. They were taken away as you were, some screaming,
others silently, like myself. Really, where are you? I thought I saw you in the hallway
the other day, but you weren’t there. The lady Watcher, still smiling, came and got me.
She pushed me back into my room and onto my bed. She used restraints, and then I took
another test. I see wheels in my vision. I also noticed that I’m getting different food
than the other boy in the room. I was starting to think it was because of his tongue, or
lack thereof, but then I saw it wasn’t softer. It’s not good, all the Watchers being
nice and whatnot. Oh dear, time for another psychological test!
Now that I’m faced with the realization that something isn’t right, I’ve had yet
another thought. None of the other boys have done as many or as frequent tests as I have.
Is this a good thing, or bad? I fear it is the latter.
What do you think happens when you die? I like to believe that after your body is
removed, your soul gets to wander around the world, coming and going as it pleases,
satisfying all the unrealized wishes of life. But of course the Great One will have a grip
of the after life as well. Death will be just another facility, with more tests, perhaps
making sure that you are dead. I hope these cursed beasts aren’t there. They started
following me a little while after you left. At first I was glad because I had been so
lonely, but then they became annoying, always silent and never there in reflections.
I fear this may be my final paragraph in this letter to you. You see, I’m in another
room, and I noticed on my trip here that there are no other doors in this hallway. This is
the final room. These rooms are soundproofed, which I discovered last night when I awoke
in a screaming fit. Nobody came, and it was scary. That must have been why you stopped
screaming. But the worst thing about this room, aside from the stains, the soundproofing,
and the Watchers, are the chains nailed to the wall. I know I’m never getting out of
here. In fact, it’s all become very clear to me. I know what’s happening to all those
boys. Some of them, the ones who show patriotic potential, are led away to work for the
Great One. But the others, like you and me, we’re taken away and put under intense
study. All those sneaky questions! Had you ever woken up in the middle of night to find
wires on your head? I did, just last night in fact. All the colors I’d ever seen, and
then some. A Watcher came immediately. He looked extremely worried. When he saw me sitting
up, though, the look vanished for a moment, then came back. He reattached the wires and
that’s when I noticed the needle in my arm. I saw little blobs with face on it, tiny
things. I panicked and tore at my skin. The Watcher rushed around and forced my hand away.
I looked up, and there was a pouch suspended above me, and a tube running down to the
needle. He injected something in it, and I began to feel drowsy. He said something to me,
only I can’t remember what. Is it possible they’ve developed a drug to control what we
do? Think of the horrors! Oh my, oh my, oh my. My heart is pattering in my chest cavity.
Oh my. I can hear the footsteps. What’s that new clicking sound? Could it be… a
weapon? The door’s opening!
At least I get to write one last paragraph. I finish this letter while remembering I
missed my opportunity to scream like you did. At least I got one more paragraph in though,
right? Ha! Now I realize this was all pointless. You’re dead! But perhaps I shall hide
this letter before I die, in hope that in some future generation, the world is less cruel
and will want a documentation of this horrible time. Yes, that idea sounds good. My only
regret is that I have not included more detail in this last letter to you, my dear friend.
Let me describe in explicitness what happened to me. The Watcher opened the door, a
white-suited one. He strapped me down and taped little wires around my throat. He pressed
his Shocker against them. The pain! It felt as though a thousand razors were scraping the
inside of my throat! I’m weakening slowly, though. The Watcher called me
‘persistent.’ What am I persistent at, life? What a joke. Not much of a life to live
in just fifteen years. Did you realize, we’ve never seen a girl our age? All these
thoughts are tumbling around in my weary skull, trying to find an outlet. I never knew I
would ever want so badly for a companion to tell. You were always the talker. I wish I
could be less bitter and pass on peacefully, but I sense it will not happen. The creatures
from the lunch table are here, waving at me. I know it’s their fault, but why are they
killing me? And how did they get a Watcher in on it? These are questions for a rainy day.
The purple horned one is sitting on my chest now and stealing my very breath. Have they no
shame? But look, they’re disappearing in splotches. Now what’s that beeping? It’s
coming from… from my head! Make it stop! Oh, please!
Why didn’t I leave this letter be where someone could find it? Surely it will be hurled
into the dark tunnels of the Incinerator now. My life is failing me. Slowly, ever so
slowly, my breath is dying away. Farewell to our bodies. Our souls will meet the next
With much love and regret,